Vodacom 5G launched in Johannesburg, Pretoria & Cape Town

Vodacom launches Africa’s first live 5G network which supports both mobile and fixed wireless services in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa

Vodacom SA has launched on Africa’s first live 5G mobile network in three cities – Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town – with further rollouts planned to other parts of South Africa. This network supports both mobile and fixed wireless services and is currently available on 20 live 5G sites, 18 of which are in Gauteng and 2 in Cape Town. Vodacom customers with 5G enabled devices, and within a 5G coverage area, are now able to access one of the fastest and most sophisticated network connections in Africa.

According to Vodacom, the deployment of 5G will help the cellular network manage the 40% increase in mobile network traffic and the 250% increase in fixed traffic experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Shameel Joosub, Vodacom Group CEO, says: “Vodacom’s 5G launch in South Africa comes at an important time as it will help us improve our network efficiency during the COVID-19 national state of disaster. During this difficult and unprecedented period, we are proud to offer world class network technology to South Africa, and all of its associated benefits, as we provide an essential service to keep the country connected. This is largely due to the allocation of temporary spectrum by ICASA which has already mitigated the network congestion we have experienced since the start of the lockdown period.”

Vodacom said it expects to expand its initial 5G rollout as more smartphones, Wi-Fi and Fixed wireless access routers become available. The current 5G network equipment deployed also operates in the same frequency bands which are expected to be permanently assigned through an auction later in 2020. Existing 4G tariffs for mobile and fixed will initially apply to Vodacom’s 5G service offering, with special 5G tariffs to be announced in due course.

Vodacom was the first network operator to launch a 5G commercial service in Africa in Lesotho in 2018 and was also first to bring 2G, 3G and 4G services to South Africa.

5G Devices

Vodacom is currently offering:

  • LG V50 5G smartphone
  • Nokia Fastmile 5G Gateway 1 router
  • Huawei 5G CPE PRO Fixed Wireless Access Router

The last two are intended for fixed wireless access while the LG smartphone is obviously for more.

5G Prices

Vodacom is offering two types of 5G plans: Mobile and 5G Home Broadband.

Mobile

When making use of Vodacom’s 5G on a smartphone, the pricing is currently the same as the regular 4G/3G/2G network for data connectivity. This might change in future as Vodacom might come-up with separate pricing for 5G mobile data.

Fixed

The so-called Home Internet / Broadband makes use of bulky routers and is intended for home broadband use. Vodacom currently offers some 14 Home Broadband plans with pricing ranging from R1,199 to R1,799 with contract terms varying between 2 and 3 years. The prices also vary slightly according to the router used.

Data AllowanceNokia FastMile 5G Gateway 1Huawei 5G CPE Pro
200 GB & 200 GBR999 PM x 36R1199 PM x 36
300 GB & 300 GBR1099 PM x 36R1299 PM x 36
400 GB & 400 GBR1299 PM x 36R1499 PM x 36
100 GB & 100 GBR899 PM x 24R1199 PM x 24
200 GB & 200 GBR1199 PM x 24R1499 PM x 24
300 GB & 300 GBR1299 PM x 24R1599 PM x 24
400 GB & 400 GBR1499 PM x 24R1799 PM x 24
Vodacom 5G Home Broadband pricing table with the lowest and highest pricing offers highlighted. The data allowance in the table are for “Anytime Data” and “Night Owl” data.

5G Coverage

A screenshot of Vodacom's 5G coverage in Gauteng province of South Africa
A screenshot of Vodacom’s 5G coverage in Gauteng province of South Africa. Do well to crosscheck coverage from Vodacom before making a purchase decision.

Vodacom 5G coverage is currently limited to parts of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Cape Town.

Pretoria / Centurion / Midrand

  • Hatfield
  • Hillcrest
  • Colbyn
  • Bryntirion
  • Hazelwood
  • Maroelana
  • Ashlea Gardens
  • Menlyn
  • Menlyn Maine
  • Waterkloof Park
  • Waterkloof Glen
  • Lynnwood Glen
  • Wierdapark
  • Celtisdal
  • Villa Rustico
  • Heuwelsig Estate
  • Raslouw Manor
  • Eldo View Estate
  • Wierda Crest Estate
  • Eco-Park Estate
  • Candlewoods Country Estate
  • Golden Fields Estate
  • Midstream Estate
  • Midfield Estate

Johannesburg

  • Carlswald North
  • The Quails
  • Periwinkle
  • Lifestyle Village
  • Waterfall Country
  • Sunninghill
  • Asmera Estate
  • Sandton Country Club Estate
  • Pine Park
  • Blairgowire
  • Cloud’s End
  • Waterstone Estate
  • Strathavon
  • Aragon Estate
  • Somerset Estate
  • Bramley Park
  • Bramley
  • Raumarais Park
  • Savoy Estate
  • Waverley
  • Oaklands
  • Melrose Estate
  • Melrose North
  • Elton Hill
  • Kentview
  • Illovo
  • Inanda
  • One Forest Road Estate
  • Inanda
  • Sandown
  • Sandhurst Estate
  • Riepen Park

Cape Town

  • Century City
  • Acacia Park
  • Sanddrift
  • Summer Greens
  • Century View

While Vodacom’s 5G coverage is presently very limited and the pricing not the cheapest, the cellular network is much likely to offer a more stable network as has always been their game.

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